NONET

MINE IS YOURS, OR IS IT?

Poets are thieves

Making off with the best words.

Hoarding them for careful distribution.

You cannot tell a poet much

Has not already crossed their mind.

Quarters in a piggybank

Turning into silver dollars

Coming out of the belly –

Runes & reads & roads

Everyone counting every one.

POEMS ARE SKINNED ALIVE

From living language

Arcane & mottled

Visible only to the see-r

The ti-leaf reader

Appearing from the cards

Like images of medieval life

Depicted in peelings

Left in runes in the sink

Gathered for composting minds

Forever nourishing.

POEMS ARE LIKE RAIN SHOWERS

Of words

Skies sweeping by of a patchworked day

Everything having a voice, telling its own story

Some listening: write it down,

Lest it just run off brazen rooftops

Into gutters

Alleys

Streams

Rivers

Oceans

Clouds

Showers.       

DOUBLE HAIKU

Crystalline rainbows

Dappling the stubborn vacuum

I roll across them.

Vain undertakings

This two-step dance of cleaning

Vacuuming rainbows.

PREDAWN

Is the new 7 a.m.

All those mornings I rose before dawn

That light would find me out upon the sunrise.

I now reclaim the nights,

All the stars I did not see

Shining still so patiently.

Now it is not just mornings

When I am

But whole motherships of night

On the other side of the clock.

WHAT IF

What if this life was the preview to the real event?

A prelude, the someone laying the red carpet was me

I liked the feel of it & climbed on up

Following worn & wary dreams to arrive

Where I need no defenses,

I made my own way

To where I shoved my suspicions under the bed

I made my way.

Now can I shine?

DAISY CHAIN DAYS

Suspicious of such good weather, I am.

The tender center of midday

Sealed by the hunkering night;

My heart counts down beats now.

Idly wondering will I be happy in the Hereafter?

CORNERS

Weedy & overgrown

The yards of my childhood

Good to cut across to shorten the way

Blue uniform, cloth coat, Buster Browns

Crushing crunchy growth.

Mind stratospheric: ablaze!

Body trudging home from the schoolbus stop

Lopsided with a leather schoolbag

A Lone Ranger lunchbox (featuring Silver.)

Of two minds about homework

But well-acquainted with inevitability

Consigned to childhood’s compartmentalization

Free as the sky / sand / sea

All my boundaries

Bled out to edges

Of omnipotence.

THAT FAMILIAR CADENCE

Of my heart

On its own riff

Tipped over the lever

Into countdown

As faithfully as it counted up

To here.

Where we are now,

Feeling the world

As a flashlight does the night land.

Now it starts a little flicker

Pushing out the limits

Of all achieved before.

Your One Wild Life

Poet Mary Oliver asks,

“What will you do with your one wild life?”

So I came to thinking about how un-wild my life had become

As it lived, how it loved, why it closed doors so quietly

          sometimes the people being closed out did not even know.

I came to no life-altering conclusions save the one that altered it first:

Whose life has ever been theirs?

          Knowing that set me up to understand there were many Masters to serve, some I chose my own self. There were also Those who chose me.

          Now one by one, I begin the Divestiture

The Departure. The Conclusion Protocol ~ ah! (As many flowery ways to say “die” as flowers on a grave!)

Life deepened on me. I ripened from seed to nut to blossom to fruit.

Now to firewood? To blaze along a horizon between worlds?

Someone told me, “Don’t worry about it.” I never heard the “don’t.”

Until I stopped saying it to myself as I no longer did worry.

I lived rightly. I bowed my head in all the right places.

          Remember, I had no manuals, only instincts & the Baltimore Catechism.

Betimes I was feral myself, I tasted of earth all over, and salt.

Is this the Wildness she speaks? Is it enough? I can’t care now for it is what was.

I walked the outer fringes of two worlds many times, perhaps always do.

I lived both vicarious & victorious; all life alluded to this me.

I made familiar choices until I chose to venture around that.

I was given to make it up as I went along, imagination my only tool.

Carol Borsello      10/15/21

Resolve to Evolve

RESOLVE TO EVOLVE

How interesting, the faces of old women,

Maps to the many places we go,

Holding court as Queen or serving as serf.

Shadowing all between.

How fascinating the hands of old women

Shaping worlds, setting them free

Saying “Survive & thrive! Don’t even be

My child, lay no claim to me:

I did not create you: you came through me

And you came for me.”

(We seldom expect that which comes for us… do we?)

Blessed are the feet of old women

Travelled in bonelands & over water

Which have worn stillettos

And lazy mules, seeping at the seams.

Walking heaven, hell, just walking on;

Finding the strength to bear us up

For 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s of years.

Holy are the bodies of old women,

Our heads bowed,

Our knees unsteady.

Our hips fused.

Arms skinny with wattling flesh.

And none of the above matters.

We were here.

We were present.

We knew it.

We owned it.

We owed it.

We took it.

We won.

October 9, 2021 – Carol Borsello

Ramparts

LEASHES

Bringing self to heel

binding the soul to flesh it fled many years ago,

I cling to the surface

where water tension only bears so much

before I sink, one, two, three

my hand breaks free, grasping air

it cannot hold.

I release this gasping grasp

to wave at the sky I so loved instead.

I sink, not so much as stone,

but as an inchoate wish

made equal of sun & stars.

How did I come so far from shore?

I, who dwelt in deserts

seduced by moisture clean of sand.

I clung so long to life that life itself forgot me.

The letter never mailed

Connections void of course.

I will not surrender here to force, to gravity

grown gravid with my weight.

I will kick hard & hold my tongue

till breath is no more an option than flight

but still I will not yield!

Instead I’ll yearn for waves to freshen

for beaches to crawl out upon

clutching only the heart I dove in for.

NO STAMPS

I left the love letter unsent

Writing instead to the editor

on trivial, thoughtless things

unworried about a return address.

I wrote love’s sealed secrets

for none to see, for all to share…

I’m out of stamps, regardless

Paper on a desk

not even made into a list:

pickles, catfood, tea

All blank

A cause with not a reason

A room of stars alone with no doors.

I am concupiscent with endings

this woman of long beginnings

of arrogant centers

of faded memoir.

In the somewhere of time is the sometime of where

I am a Beloved, an Abba

with a family name I cannot pronounce.

GOD

He never signed the Permission Slip

but watched me walk to the edge of heaven

To dive headlong into its elusive counterpart

it’s illusive counterpoint.

I did not know I could not fly in return!

Nor the gate would close behind me with a click

Breaking my heart.

Why didn’t I await the paperwork?

Stretching the red tape of reincarnation

unable to set my mind:

A giraffe or a girl?

I took my chances, ignoring every sign

about standing near the edge

until, seduced into falling,

here I am, eyeing mountains

Thinking climbing up is climbing back.

Blear-eyed & trembling,

Aged of thirst & heartbreak,

Take me to home I so burned to leave –

Screaming all the way down.

IF LIFE MIRRORS DIVINITY

I’ll take the one with the biggest crack

the silvering resinous & stained,

no true reflection to be had

Tho I polish it with my soul.

Working the salt mines of desire

Ten inches a year’s yield

I watch these flicker away

Leaves fed to fire

I fight the smoke

I bring the rain

I search for stones to pound it through

And when it breaks – as mirrors always do –

I heave up over the edges

Bleeding out the names of God.

STIFF WITH SORROW

The words seep out, blue on white

mounting speed, outstripping sad

I scratch ink across the page

I need answers to the questions no one asks!

I left a rock atop my wings

and walked into the sea.

MOVE ALONG, SIRRAH!

I am no longer “pretty”

but old & bold, I have learned patience.

It’s not final, nor the answer

when life comes rooting in my dumpster

where I’m looking for my heart…a hand to hold.

I poured out love in roaring measures,

I pressed out pain & rubbed out ruin

Offering strangers that which calls for coin

but buys no stock in who I have become.

No matter. Were the choice to round my way again,

I would choose the carousel with all-white horses

Carpisoned in gold…not gathering the reins

Nor stroking flame-red nostrils.

I’d lay down my face on a fiberglass mane

To ride the stars.

CyberWalls

RELATIONSHIP

I feel like a great vault is accessible from my inaccessible brain,

Where words abound where language awaits its turn once more

To bring about the glory of change agreeable to all.

Where civility is incontrovertible & of such a nature to be courtly.

There are dozens of realms to be alive on, layers within each

To rely upon

Choose one you want.

Mine? Back to words…I write as I would walk on lily pads

With subliminal terror put aside in favor to trust

The next word sliding out from my pen.

EN VOGUE

I trust the Process.

Things must sort themselves out.

Instinct does still count.

We wouldn’t be discovering brains in all our major organs,

If nonexistent.

Trust the plan that is for you.

But examine it for joy first, then for all you wish.

Even wishes that have to shrink down fit you well enough,

If there is joy.

MOMENTS

I feel as though I stepped onto the emergency exit from heaven

One long chute yellow-slide-burner-butt

Earth turning as I’m landing

[The timing’s gotta be good here, guys

You’re sure about those landing estimates?]

I am still bouncing!

What, wave goodbye?

Honey, I fell front in a free-fall

My face a rictus of disbelief

A millisecond of what was I thinking?

Arrival.

Thrust into the feistiest game of all,

Human life on Planet Earth!

Could it possibly be all I’d heard in heaven?

Was it worth the waiting, the gamut of Eternity run

To stay even in place to enter this Game.

I must have been bored playing that harp

Sittin’ on that cloud, pointing my toes toward…

But, damn people, the world I wanted to land in

Is coming up fast.

Here it is: my gold ring! The Present.

——-

ENTROPY

I wasn’t built for this, all this drama

I engaged it until

My wherewithal went missing.

More Old Man & The Sea than

Moby Dick now.

I was more a board game type

Than paintball any day.

Ah.

Whether worn-out or “with it”,

Game on!

———

NEW ME

I am rebuilding from the inside out

The new me won’t have so far to go

I hope, for her sake –

It’s not  inadvertent,

It’s her turn,

We exchange words for wings.

———

HOW STRANGE

How quickly it left my mind,

Twenty-five years of career

I licked an envelope,

Mailing it off

Unthinking.

Now my body can heal,

Now I throw off short-term toxins

With choices born of more time

Of fluid effort.

I recall entering massage as the exploring phase

The please, can I be a healer stage

Vivid, arresting, fascinating in its balanced

Power & purity.

Of course I recognize it: the Ego powers all through!

I see now how final the break is

How past its time to be gone it was

The mantle may settle upon another

(Even my angels wanted out…

I think they at the Casino.)

It’s so huge I just can’t find it anymore.

Carol Borsello  4/23/21

Goddess Return

THE WORLD HERSELF MUST CHANGE

If we feminize her, then I ask you to your face:

Have you ever known a woman awakening

To whom she has become

To torn & dirty clothing,

To civilizations

Wanting only

Enough

And cleanly lives.

Her breath can’t quite sync the change.

She’s wakened to our best & so much less unless you

            Suborn destruction

We live so intensely watching chimera

Aborted promises –

            Gutted for greed

But she’s awake.

It’s time to let go of the drama

To forge ahead on upcoming realities

So shave your head in rebirth

Feel the changes the Light will make

On your scalp.

Let the wind & wynd of your language

Move you to indwell

A willing heart.

Set down everything of who you have been,

If you wish to be anything else.

her hands smelled of Gardenias

from the oils added to the diffuser

bees danced outside her door.

The hand on my low back guiding me

So long has passed midway

Settled atop my spine

Watching over my shoulders

In excitement when I venture out

But the me who’s not That Me

Is inert, buried in a book,

A dream, as sublimation of life

Happening to itself elsewhere.

I miss ritual, the drums, the sage burning, the comradely changes of women meeting one month apart, coming from Church by way of the kitchen, let us eat before we drum.

And so we cleared away, choosing drums or uncovering them, forming an in & out circle with Grandmother in the center. We started her heartbeat, accosting all the grandmothers to reach for rattles, to join our rhythm.

We drummed away sadness while we welcomed its allowance; we drummed the sun across the sky, we broke & formed & ate again.

—–

I’ve

I’m

I

To whom this moment belongs:

Of whom life examples all

Unique to each

We dance

A skein of heartfelt beauty

Unabashed existence.

I have had that discussion

Un-numbered times

In languages I no longer speak

Won’t you set me free this moment?

When tears mist my eyes, hurting-salt

From glimpsing the rainbows just outside?

I don’t expect you to fall upon me weeping

When my eulogy is read

Unless I am the one reading it.

I am a Libra

All I can do is come into balance.

Once there,

I am free.

A Small Flotilla of Poems

 A small flotilla of poems for the aquatically challenged. 

THE LOCAL LOCALS

why new jersey girls go barefoot:       sand

why new mexico girls do not:              cactus

———————————————————–

mother gaia knows me – she could pick up my scent anywhere I’ve been.

and any-when.

i don’t try to be untrackable, it’s just i prefer to be untraceable.

more random wisdom for a random age.

teach your self-talk out loud.

be sure to hear it with both ears as it is meant to be heard

bloody as a fairytale

unbecoming as days in front of a mirror

            marking change

being strong

instead of beautiful.

LITTLE GIRLS & QUEENS

i don’t remember wanting to be a princess.

i knew from an early age i am only  a queen.

queens don’t get  a day off,

not if they’re doing the job right.

queens don’t give into presumption

they own that!

all it takes to be one is a remarkable memory

with a good education.

queens are an acquired taste, but there it is, nonetheless.

queens disdain working for others

but often despair of working for themselves.

they never should go into any family business.

we always observe the “no queens permitted” signs.

queens are often found along the stairways of their own palaces,

midway up or midway down.

wrapped in a cloak, they often face the wind

blowing away the secrets offered

queens are oracles of change

for better or worse in the kingdom.

queens surmount the barriers

then return to show the way.

WHERE LIGHT IS AN ELEMENT

new mexico is a land shaped by wind

telling long stories over sage & chaparral

we keep thinking an ending may occur

a solution to be had just over the next

endless horizon, if we pay attention.

really, there’s only mystery

the wind blows upward

seeding clouds with sand

there’s a blue beyond the color

we know as blue

this sky. this air. this wind.

we harvest what we plant

we walk in the gardens seeded by our own mouths

seasoned by our own water

willed into more than survival.

A PLANETARY MORNING

the light’s a little tilted

the spectra of other realms

we have a view now

above & below

like underwater cameras, dipping.

we are no longer individuals

as we clamor & bang our pots

to get the attention of God

(who’s been keeping up all along,

indeed, reflecting back to light our way.)

TRIANGULATION

the three blind mice

squared off & began

quartering the space

profligate thoughts

tossed back & forth

among the three

to this day,

i have no idea

if they ever got out.

THE WORLD

this world is full of consonants

the softening of vowels

lost in a well of expletives:

karate chop words

what happens in a world full of curses?

it is becalmed: the steady balance

of beauty, divinity, sacred pushback lost

until the “cursors” re-ignite with love

enough to tilt us home

nature bites back, burying curses into nullity

achieving blessing.

carol borsello MARCH 2021

A Dance of Poems

Line Waiter

In the dystopian future

I am a Line Waiter.

I earn a decent life cuz I stand my ground.

As surrogate.

No time to wait in line? Make the appointment anyway

then just show up!”

get the picture on yr phone?

Sometimes people throw coins, too

When I dance a little shimmy. Nice perk.

All day to contemplate the ones before

Philosopher by inadvertency (trying to keep self-amused.)

Lots of thoughts to think; no blame to be had.

We’re all in line somewhere for something we don’t

Feel in front of yet.

Yeh?

– – –

Don’t be shy, little words, just dance write up

Blow past the mind on your own mission

Of being seen at the same time as being said

So, don’t let me get in the way,

Just swarm by, mob the

Blood-brain barrier,

Well up in the ears,

Overfill the eyes,

Wash over the feet

Fill my hands so that to

Shake them is to write you up.

  • – –

Broad & Chestnut Meet

I was keeping that Philadelphian ‘never-build-taller-than-Billy’s hat’

In the ‘partment; didn’t really realize that until

Things started getting taller than me

On the surround

A 7’ bookcase, the split-leaf Rhonda finally

Supported on a walk-found branch so we are

Face-to-leaf

The top of the desk calling for its own inspection

Each time I sit down. Its vortex operational

In triangular Joy.

It all moves by

Same as it ever was.

My surroundings shift like a river

I somehow manage to stand up in.

  • – –

THE BUGLE CALL OF SATURDAY MORNING Or, staying in the Flow

Saturdays start early for me…I wake with

The yearnings of a schoolgirl who has survived

A week of hell & has time before Mom gets on

About the vacuuming … time to get out with a

‘bye’ n a grab at a banana and head downstairs

for Blue Boy – the 26” bike my Missing Dad

Bought me cuz he didn’t know I had a little under

24” frame – so the bike

Was a grab-mount

Feet already pedaling the ground

Before the saddle-leap

Already in motion, side by side

Up, up & away.

RECOVERED DOCUMENT

Ever get this notice?

You pull up Word & it offers

In effect, a snick on brainpan

A kind of “Ah Ma’am, you left this”

Someone waving my flea market

Moneypurse.

My

Eyes go round circuiting

all the memory banks at once

“What document?” My fingers

Assure an affirmative:

YES!

‘Bring it to me, sweeti,’

I coax it up & it’s an

Address I typed in two

Weeks ago for an envelope

That jammed the printer.

LIFE IS A MAILED LETTER

All alone, you are formed, molded, finally

Stamped with a Diploma & a birth certificate

(on second thought, Mom kept that till needed.)

Released into the world

Like a trained animal into the circus

Applauded by a crowd you didn’t even know

Was out there all this time.

Put into the slot, sitting in the darkness

Of the not-knowing until a Uniformed Daylight

Rattled the chute

You were snatched by an unfamiliar glove

Driven, sorted, allocated by some invisible

Zip Code machine

Deposited in the tray of life

Like change in a pocket

Carelessly delivered

Tho carefully addressed

In a life where you’re the Occupant

As often as not.

  • – –

We have Ghost Houses here

In T or C

We have places that once occupied

A “where” here, these can shimmer

Into place:

Overlay a yard or a park

So you blink & maybe find a coffee.

For where you thought you were

Is not where you are.

There are incipient ranches

A mirage between the highway

And the mountains looming

Like giants: the Caballos

The Horse Mountains for when

‘they’ hid horses there.

We have nearby a changeable lake

Atop a drowned fort-militant

Something to do with hostiles

While we trespassed unmercifully

Treading their flag

Writing on ours, “Don’t.You.Dare.”

  • – –

Almost Solstice 2020

I can hear the insects walking on my grave

(Sounds like some old Beatnik thing to say)

Any line that meter will start a poem

Like any old crank cause a Model A to

Cough & wheeze & ready-go.

(Honk honk, rattle rattle rattle, crash!, beep-beep)

I ramble thru the ages living other stories

Moving left to right but mostly straight on.

It’s just that everything now looks familiar:

Is there no home I have not occupied?

No wonder at no need to wander

Perhaps it is all in my backyard.

I am, after said is done,

An Alchemist.

Remember that part about history

Belonging to the writers?

I do.

………………………………………..

How far back would I need to go for a role model?

Back to the Chesters, I guess, the couple who ran

Our local public school, Margaret Mace

J. Elwood & Marie Chester.

I have no one else to share this story with, so bear with me.

Mr. Chester was the Principal & Mrs. Chester my home room & English teacher. Mr. Chester was of a larger than life mold & shared that with me – he would pull me out of class (thus actually conferring the status on me  of being pulled out of the room by the Principal. ) He would bring me to his office & recite Rudyard Kipling or a parody of some long piece of tintinnabulation. It still uplifts me to think on it.

Quiet, black-haired Mrs. Chester wore English like a suit of armor. I learned all the finer points of jousting the language with her.

I think the Chesters were the reason Mom sent me to the public school after Brother Joe lost to the Monsignor. They were involved with Mom financially, I believe, having co-signed a note.

………………………

SUNOCO

My favorite restaurant here has an old gas station bell at their drive-up window. I was awaiting my order outside & the bell rang with a car passing over. My friend with me remarked on the notice & in a rush I remembered I grew up NEXT to a gas station that had a bell system like that over both lanes.

My whole life must have been filled with that sound…

Hot summer nights

Bitter-bite seashore cold

I did not know I had memorized it so well

A friend would have to point it out to me

Waiting for lunch one day.

……………………

Someone said practice art

My art is wordsmithing

Wrangling words that ride me over cliffs sometimes

So I cannot get back to the mesa above

Doomed to canyons

Yet appreciating the shade.

……………………..

For a long time I said my life appeared in vignettes of my vision

I got pulses which pulled me back to that time as an immediate environ

Now I think that even the ones of the future appear at times

I want more to do with earth now, than tech

I take two steps back from seeing the future

For the holiness (simplicity) of yesterday

Holds my heart harmless

…………………

I can see now that I put myself into impossible situations

This lifetime. I made demands upon heaven, tugged on many angel wings to get what I needed. I moved mountains but with nowhere to put them, my backyard just got full.

I cut people off cold if I cannot get along with them. I assume. The word “err” comes up in my crosswords a lot & I always take it personally.

I wonder if it’s correct to say I get in my own way.

Just when I’m getting into the good thoughts

I come forward from the back of the room to say

Time to leave, gotta go … what we  doin’ here?

Like photobombing my own life movie.

…………………………………..

As I watch, the World of the Impossible slides next into the stereopticon

I do not remember buying [into] this slide

It is as real as any other & each life I unbury is similar to the one just before.

I can’t even remember who handed me this shovel!

Somewhere in a city is a diner in white enamel

With lights reflecting white uniforms with long black aprons.

Red/silver jukebox modules hang over the tables

Collecting quarters in exchange for memories

Fainting-lucky

If it had “our song”

Somewhere like B 15.

………………………..

The familiar grows shadows so long

Over my shoulder, I get cold in my last lifetime.

……………………….

There were horses & hounds, sir

Thundering & howling through the dream

More than that I cannot say

More than that would be confession

But there are no more priests

People today don’t remember horses

In a hunt, laboring by

I do.

The pack of red/brown dogs silken

Eared & snarling

A “snap!” at me tho I was ne’er their fox.

…………………………..

The conservatives have left

Only madmen remain to rule

All the sanitoria are open

While the churches are closed.

I missed somewhat of the egress,

Deciding to hunker down, stock up,

Obey the impulse to just be still

To flatten the curve.

The curve gone cursive in my case

I might have once thought

Other than I do now

Like I said, I don’t remember.

Is it ok to stand up yet?

………………………….

Where do your thoughts go when you’re not thinking?

Everyone has those blank moments on arrival:

   Shrugging: “Um, how’d I get here?

The cloud knows not its landing,

Nor my soul

Tho Higher Self pokes a head in regular-like

To test progress.

(The same way I click videos to see how much longer they’ll run.)

She shows up, takes a peek from my eyes.

My Higher Scout checking in

To see if she recognizes the terrain.)

………………………

Pre-Post Covid

A long set of poems borne of lonely anger. Covid is not my illness, but it may have bested me – financially, figuratively & finally. Were I suicidal, I would already be dead of it. See my images as your own but don’t dwell here long. Love, Carol

THE DISEASE OF UNEASE

How can I not miss all that I miss?

A body so warm beside me

The wash of the sea

That salt-morning light

A family

So soon it all changes

Once again the more & the less

Will lead me a dance divine:

The motherless child

A fatherless girl

A sister-less life

A brother unknown –

The nights like this:

A season at end; another not begun

A time of silvered stars

The rime of the horizon

A single setting at table

A single serving.

I no longer complain or marvel

I am simply through it

Through with it

I long for a bosom

To weep upon

A tickle to laugh, a limerick rhyme?

I yearn for a life which will never be mine

My nights spent alone on the staircase of time

Not poems that wait till the last word to rhyme.

STEEL MIMICRY

Bold as brass, I steer forth upon my course

Unstayed by wind, by aching hands

By sullen feet

My eyes sore of missing faces

My heart salted by loneliness & faintly sour

Faulted by sinecure of sin

I have climbed over decades

Searching an easier path

Than this, uneven stone & shale.

I have bared my soul a thousand times

Only to redresss it, bringing it home

To sleep beneath my pillow.

NOTES

The music defines the moment

One key on a piano

Tapping against time

The days all lit. I gather change about me

Cashmere in comfort

I see my way clear to home

While night approaches

A feral cat, seeking succor

A black thing with green eyes

A pat upon its head

A sufferance for food.

A narrow bed

I am grateful to rest into

The universe hangs upon my wall

A purple swag of planets to behold

A memory I live at the center.

THE POST-COVID WORLD

A 50-50 chance

Of having a car

A place to live

Food to table

I am no soldier

Yet somehow signed up to march in this lockstep dream

Before the lemming rush

Before the bodies take, wingless, to air

I have my life lived already

Enough to spin in front of me

No matter the height from which I fall.

THE READING

I look to you, my divinations

The round cards before me

Shaping a Celtic Cross

You unfold a fervor of vision only

Dizzying with foresight

My place in the middle

Where spirals emerge

A past with a future

Equally in balance

The to & fro of tidal life

The iron in my blood magnetized

To what I cannot say

By what I will not do.

I am agreed to stand the middle

To straddle lies & truth

To make my unequal way.

I remember the solitude of perfection

Once the pattern

Now tilted all a-side.

HOME ALONE

Now defined by idleness

Not sanity.

I feed a neighborly cat

I water sixteen plants

No expectations left

In polite society

For such an isolate as me

A hermit in the cave of time

Lacking the charcoal to

Slash a day – one day

Upon the wall.

And in this heartless stripping away

A promise is uncovered

A fan of words to hold the heat of hell at bay.

KEENING

I know I am enough for heaven

To gather wings around me

To live in former gravity

My pockets full of sins, like rocks

Will wings be strong enough to carry me?

Is even God enough to forgive the unlived life?

“I AM INNOCENT!”

I supinate my palms

One arm crooked, trembling with effort

“You cannot accuse me!”

But my voice is lost in the courtroom’s

Bloody effulgence of noise

The judge looks away

Shifting papers for dates & times

My wrongdoings rendered evidence

Disappointed to find me

Still sequestered to life

Without parole.

THE YOGINI & THE TWICE-BROKE ARM

The yoga chart behind the door

Bought in faith

The mounted visual aid

My self-improvement swear-in

Dust takes longer to gather there

My twice-broke arm cannot hold the rag

Let alone wield it true.

There was a time

I would have bulled through to be a Hero

To attempt a headstand on eternity

Now? Not even Happy Baby!

I am yet recovering from Shivasana.

IN POINT OF FACT

I have no refills

The pens run dry

Down to pencils

Yellow & thin

Reluctant to record my life

This is what is left of me:

A disembodied voice

A nursery rhyme unremembered

A fool to even care

The last to recall my name

Will end me once for all.

ONCE UPON MY TIME

I only wanted a chance to tell my story

To bare my breast, not beat upon it!

I only needed proof of life

Beyond my departure from it.

I guess coming in without a plan

Except to be here

Was a poor idea

An existential fly

In the non-existent ointment

After all.

GROWING

So this is what it means to age

A pick & choose among the words I’ve swept before me

Blossoms baked & dried in the sun of another’s regard.

I even forgive myself this confessional moment

This bedraggled accounting in want of smiles!

I forgive my independent ways

My chancy decisions

The long dusty distances ventured from home.

I forgive the litter of life

The loitering debts, the trespass of my passing

My feet remain unbound

My vision unhindered

My grim will, undeterred

To live my way

To live light & shadow

In all of it, the only me

The best I know to be.

CHURCHES

I remember when I prayed aloud with many

Rather than alone, on paper

Furtive, a dark morning becoming chill

Soft notes playing.

I remember gathering like minds together

Under a domed roof

“Be still & know”

Where I sit amidst a chorus of cactus

A muted hum accompanying all grace

Needing no permission to sing

(Now all subversive in song

Transmitting death on a holy note…)

I have lived in times when children were ripped

From my arms to die by the sword

I remember when I did not look down

Till the hand on my neck forced me

I knew these words, tho not how to write them

I knew these formulas, results never changing

But I have less to live for now

So I write them with impunity.

Come, cut off my hands

Dissect my heart’s four chambers

Brain me unsensible.

I am impervious to curses

A stalwart divinity of One.

I have lived a life seeking eight noble truths

You cannot harm the God in me

Nor divest the Goddess in every cell.

Come, do your bloody worst

I am a stringy old woman with bad teeth

The perfect victim

My findings will never be that for which you search.

My submission will ever be a taint upon your hands

I will not even hate you tho I’ve left love out of it.

Wherein I dwell – that innermost altar you’re seeking to augur out?

Still intact & whole as a Temple

I am barefoot for I stand on holy ground.

THE DOGS BEGIN TO BARK

Brought outside their bedroom dens

Urged from oval, braided rugs

Where their paws tapped a Braille of dreams

Packs & pacts forsworn

Rudely chained to guard posts

In the chill of Autumn mornings

Barking to fill the spaces you once held.

HABITUAL HUNGER

Humanity stripped from inhuman times

Truthsayers hoarse in accusation

The walls of communication

Lined in silk.

But truth wears sturdy shoes

Stands impervious to false victory.

You cannot have the morning!

You may live in the land of no clocks,

Yet all I hear is ticking.

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